If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terriblycomp ...
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Written by: Carolyn Young
Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Updated on March 6, 2023
If you’re starting a business, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can be terribly complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to a professional formation service.
One of the top options is BizFilings. But is it the best service? And is it the right choice for you? This review takes a closer look — putting ourselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur — to help you choose the formation service that will put your business on the road to success.
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BizFilings handles the business formation process for you, making it nearly seamless while offering additional services that can make life easier for a new business owner. Whether you’re forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, BizFilings takes care of all the red tape so you don’t have to.
BizFilings offers packages of services and a la carte options. We explored all of the options and have broken down the services and pricing here.
|Services||Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Complete Plan|
|Business name verification||√||√||√|
|Registered agent service*||√||√||√|
|BizComply - 24/7 business monitoring tool and documents library||√||√||√|
|LLC kit and seal||√||√|
|Sample operating agreement and other LLC forms||√||√|
|Certified copy of state file documents||√|
*Note that the registered agent services are only included for the first six months, and then they are billed annually at $220. This is not clear on the site, so customers need to be aware that they are going to get an unexpected charge after that six month period.
**At the time of this review, BizFilings is offering a 20% discount on all packages.
Note that state filing fees still apply with all these plans. Fees vary by state, listed below.
The $99 Basic Plan includes a business name availability search and the business formation service. It also includes registered agent services for 6 months, making it a good value.
The Basic Plan includes a business name availability search through your state and the business formation service, as well as registered agent services for six months, which is something that some competitors do not offer. It also offers a 24/7 business monitoring tool, and a library of common business documents.
This plan is a great value and appropriate for entrepreneurs with a limited budget that just want help to get their business up and running and get the benefits of the registered agent service. They can choose to add additional services at the time of purchase, such as an operating agreement or expedited filing.
This plan also may be appropriate for established businesses forming a new business structure or changing their business structure.
The fee is higher than the starter-level plans of LegalZoom and ZenBusiness, but the BizFilings package comes with six months of registered agent services, which makes it a good value. Again, though, note that the registered agent services are only offered for six months.
The $229 Standard Plan has the additional benefits of an operating agreement template and other LLC form templates, as well as expedited processing. This makes the plan also a good value.
The Standard Plan includes all the services included in the basic plan, but with the addition of an LLC kit and seal, an operating agreement and other form templates, and expedited processing.
An operating agreement template is of great value to an entrepreneur, and the expedited processing helps you to get your business up and running faster.
This package is appropriate for businesses that want a little more help in terms of the operating agreement, which is a critical document, and those who need their LLC formed faster. The price offers good value considering the extra services.
Note that in Delaware this plan costs only $159.
The $359 Complete Plan has several additional benefits including an EIN number and certified copies of LLC documents. This plan is a bit expensive, considering the value of the added services.
The Complete Plan includes everything in the standard plan with several added benefits including:
These advantages are of some value, particularly if you’re in a hurry to have your official documents in hand. However, the EIN can easily be obtained by you for free through the IRS website.
This plan, however, would be beneficial for a business owner that wants to have a one-stop shop for their business services. Otherwise, it does not seem worth the extra money that you’ll pay compared to the standard plan.
Note that the price for the Complete Plan is different in six states:
The following services can be added to the plans if they are not already included:
|LLC kit and seal||$99|
|Operating agreement and other LLC forms||$39|
|Sales tax registration||$199|
|Payroll tax registration||$199|
|Palo Alto's Live Plan (business plan service)||$99|
|Business license research package||$99|
|ADP payroll services||by quote|
|Certified copy of documents||$39|
|Expedited processing||$60 plus state fee|
|24 hour rush filling||$199 plus state fee|
The following services can be purchased a la carte.
|DBA filing package||$139 - $214 plus state fee|
|Registered agent service||$220 annually|
|Business License research||$99|
Expedited filing often incurs additional state costs. Initial state filing fees are detailed below.
DBA filing fees vary by state. To find the exact price including the filing fee for your state, use the calculator below.
The service is not available in three states – Kansas, New Mexico, and South Carolina. To find out how to file a DBA in those states reach out to BizFilings Incorporation Specialist at 800-981-7183 or 608-827-5300. Also, note that Georgia charges a publication fee of $110.
If you purchase extras, you’ll need to be careful as the costs can add up fast. If you get the Basic Plan, some of the extras, such as an operating agreement, are a good value. However, check the costs of the extras that you’re getting compared to the Standard and Complete plans.
Your LLC must be formed with your state by filing articles of organization, sometimes called a certificate of organization or a certificate of formation. This can be done online or by mail. BizFilings handles the filing for you online, and the LLC approval time varies by state.
This can be a time-consuming and difficult process for an entrepreneur and getting customer support from your state government office is often a challenge. With BizFilings, you have access to customer support during normal business hours.
Once your LLC is approved and official, you can access your formation documents on the BizFilings website at any time.
When you form your LLC, depending on the state where you want to register your business, there will likely be an added state fee. Below we have listed the fees for each state so you can calculate the overall expenses for creating your LLC.
Please note that the state fees are costs you pay in addition to the BizFilings formation costs, or any other formation service you choose.
Use our dropdown calculator to check how much LLC formation will cost using BizFilings. Simply choose a plan, a la carte services, extras, and the state where you want to form an LLC to calculate the exact cost based on your needs and preferences.
In most states, when you form an LLC, you need a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.
For $220 per year (first 6 months only free), BizFilings can act as your registered agent and handle official correspondence and documents for your business. Registered agents ensure that all official correspondence is handled on time and properly filed. They also keep track of deadlines and send reminders of things you need to file, such as tax forms and annual reports.
A registered agent service will help keep you in compliance with the law and save you time by keeping track of key documents and filing deadlines. The agency will also provide support if any issues arise.
BizFilings’ registered agent services will enable you to have flexible hours. If you are your own registered agent, you must be personally available from 8 AM to 5 PM at your registered agent address. If you use an agency, they are available during those hours so you can focus on growing your business.
If you use a national agency like BizFilings, you can also form an LLC or corporation in another state or multiple states where you do not have residency. Using BizFilings also offers you a level of privacy, as you would never be served with a summons at your business in front of customers or employees.
BizFilings offers an operating agreement template. An operating agreement for an LLC is an important legal document that details who owns the business and also provides essential information pertaining to member duties.
An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between business owners (“members”) and the basics of the working relationships between those owners and the managers who oversee daily operations.
By using the BizFilings template, you can just fill in the blanks, rather than having an attorney draw up the agreement for you from scratch. At an ala carte price of $39 with the Basic Plan it’s a good value compared to the attorney fees you would otherwise pay.
It’s included in the Standard and Complete plans. Only a handful of states require an operating agreement, but having one is highly recommended..
We tested the BizFilings customer service experience from every angle. Here’s what we found.
When you first go to the BizFilings site, you can choose a type of business formation and enter your state to get custom pricing for the plans, meaning that some of the state fees are shown. This is the only way to get information about the plans; it’s not included in the menu.
The plans are in a format that allows you to easily choose your plan and extras.
Once you’ve selected your plan and extras, you’ll see your costs and can select to order the plan. It will then take you to a page where you’ll enter all your business information,
When going through the process of entering information, we found that you can choose your registered agent plan, but you cannot opt-out, so you’ll need to be prepared for the fee in six months unless you cancel the service.
The registered agent services fees are as follows:
This is somewhat confusing, considering we were told by customer service that the service costs $220 a year. Also, if you purchase it a la carte, it’s $220 per year.
After you make your registered agent choices, you’ll be offered additional products. You’ll then be taken to a page where you can review all your information before making payment.
Via email, we asked customer service about filing turnaround times and received an initial response within 1.5 hours and an answer to our question in about 2 hours.
However, these times are dependent on state processing times.
We found the site to be very useful compared to some other similar services. We liked the way the packages and extras are presented, with plenty of information about each product.
A few things were confusing, such as the registered agent service prices compared to what we were told by customer service. But mostly the information and service details were clear.
Overall, the site was easy to use and business formation can be completed in a few minutes.
All of the services offered by BizFilings have one-time fees except for the registered agent services. We called customer support to ask about the cancellation process for those services.
We were told that we would have to file a change of registered agent with our state and call BizFilings at 855-351-0580 to cancel the service. This is a bit unusual, as most other LLC formation sites will cancel the service for you.
We tested all three forms of the BizFilings customer support.
When we tested the customer service response time through the online chat option on a Sunday, we received no response, so chat support is not available on the weekends. When we tried again on Monday, we received a response immediately.
Here was our question:
“Are the package fees annual fees or one-time fees – and if they are annual fees does that mean the registered agent services will continue after the first year?”
The response was that the plan fees are one-time fees, but the registered agent service is an annual fee of $220. We asked if the registered agent services were included for the first year, and the answer was that they are only included for 6 months, and then the annual fee kicks in.
They were very polite and clear in their responses. But the cust-serv rep did not mention that BizFilings offers discounted multi-year registered agent plans, as detailed above.
We called BizFilings and asked about their cancellation policy for the recurring registered agent services. Our call was answered immediately, and the answer was that you must file a change of registered agent with the state and then call BizFilings to cancel the service. The customer service agent was very friendly and professional and did not try to sell us anything.
Phone Support Rating:
We sent an email asking about the various business formation turnaround times – regular, expedited, and rush. We received an initial response in an hour and a half, but the response was a question about what state we were filing in and stating that turnaround times vary by state. We answered the question and got our next response with a clear and professional answer in about 15 minutes.
Email Support Rating:
We wanted to know how real BizFilings customers feel about the service, so we explored customer reviews at the Better Business Bureau and Trust Pilot. Unfortunately, customer reviews of BizFilings are nearly non-existent.
BizFilings has an A+ rating from the BBB.
BizFilings has an A+ rating from the BBB with 5/5 stars in customer reviews, but there is only one review. They have been an accredited BBB business since 1997. They have received two complaints in three years, both of which have a closed status.
The one positive review was as follows:
“I’ve registered multiple businesses with BizFilings over the years and have experienced nothing but success with them. They’re quickly available to help answer any questions I have along the way. Reading the other review, it’s clear the individual doesn’t understand that BizFilings offers a service to streamline registration and compliance activities. Of course, this is a service you pay for and personally, I’d rather let the experts do it so I may focus on the core of my business. Keep up the great work.”
We also read the complaints about BizFilings on the BBB website. Both revolved around canceling registered agent services. To cancel the service, you must file a change of registered agent form with your state. Both of the complainers said they were subject to aggressive collection efforts for the unpaid registered agent service fees.
You can read reviews on the BBB website.
There are no reviews of BizFilings on TrustPilot.
Overall, BizFilings’ services offer advantages and drawbacks, as detailed below.
BizFilings is a service of Wolters Kluwer, which is, according to their website, “a global provider of professional information, software solutions, and services for clinicians, accountants, lawyers, and tax, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and regulatory sectors.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, BizFilings has been in business since 1996, is managed by Mark Williams, Director of Operations, and located in Madison, Wisconsin.
We explored several services similar to BizFilings to see how they stack up.
BizFilings offers a better value for your money than some competitors but offers fewer services than some.
LegalZoom has three packages of services as well.
None of the LegalZoom plans come with an operating agreement service. It costs $99 extra for the service. Legal Zoom registered agent services are also more expensive than BizFilings. Visit LegalZoom site.
Swyft filings is not a subscription service, just like BizFilings. They charge a one-time fee for business formation services of $49, and other ongoing services can be added. The differentiating factor for Swyft Filings is their speed. Their signup process is quick and they have faster business formation turnaround times. Visit Swyft Filings site.
Incfile has very competitive pricing. Their basic plan, called the Silver Package, is free and includes registered agent services for a year. Their Gold Package is only $149 and includes the operating agreement as well as a banking resolution. Their Platinum Package is $299 and includes some additional services that BizFilings does not.
We highly recommend BIZFilings for its great value of services
Overall, BizFilings provides extremely valuable services for aspiring business owners. They can ensure that your new business gets off on the right foot. Their service is easy to use and offers a great customer experience, which we learned from testing their support services.
BizFilings can take the time and hassle out of starting your business. However, they do not offer as many services as some of their competitors, so if you’re looking for more, BizFilings may not be for you.
As a leading entrepreneurial advisory site, we take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.
As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In this case, we:
Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewer and team are able to provide the most complete and insightful review of BizFlings’ LLC formation services.
A service like BizFilings can make the business formation process easy and ensure that it’s done correctly. They provide customer support and additional services to support your business.
BizFilings offers business formation services to handle the paperwork and cut through the red tape with your state, so you don’t have to. They also offer additional services, including registered agent services and an operating agreement.
The Basic Plan from BizFilings offers a name availability search, LLC formation filing with your state, and registered agent services for six months. You’ll also get a 24/7 business monitoring tool and a library of business documents.
The Standard Plan from BizFilings offers the same business formation services as their Basic Plan, with the added benefits of an LLC kit and seal, an operating agreement, and expedited filing.
With the Complete Plan, you get everything in the Standard Plan plus an EIN number, a compliance DVD, certified copies of LLC documents, and overnight shipping.
The BizFilings Basic Plan is $99. It includes a name availability search, your LLC formation, and registered agent services for six months.
Yes, all the plans through BizFilings are charged as one-time fees. However, if you don’t want the registered agent services, you’ll need to cancel it before the end of the free six-month period you get with the plans.
The BizFilings registered agent service is a professional service that will handle official correspondence and documents for your business. They will ensure that all correspondence is handled on time and keep copies of documents for you. They will keep track of deadlines for you and send you reminders of things you may have to file, such as tax forms or annual reports.
Registered agent services from BizFilings cost $220 annually if you purchase them for one year. You can also get a two-year plan for $320 or a three-year plan for $420.
BizFilings has an A+ rating from the BBB with 5/5 stars in their one customer review.
BizFilings plans are charged as one-time fees, not as subscriptions, so there is nothing to cancel. However, registered agent services fees are charged annually. To cancel, you need to file a change of registered agent with your state, and then call BizFilings at 855-351-0580.
BizFiling plans are charged as one-time fees, not as subscriptions, so there is nothing to cancel. However, registered agent services fees are charged annually. To cancel, you’ll need to file a change of registered agent with your state, and then call BizFilings to cancel at 855-351-0580. Your state will charge a fee to file the change of registered agent.
Turnaround times for business formation with the Basic Plan are 17 to 19 days, according to BizFilings. Times, however, are dependent on state processing times, which vary.
Overall BizFilings offers good value and support for business owners. Their pricing is competitive, and they offer many supplementary services that can make life much easier for new business owners.
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